Detroit’s 2014 motor show has played host to the reveal of the all new Subaru WRX STi – based largely on the WRX that was introduced last year – it’s a four-door, all-wheel drive, rally-bred monster with flared arches and the legendary 225kW 2.5 litre turbo charged boxer motor for fire power.
I’m still disappointed that Subaru didn’t introduce more aspects of its WRX concept to the styling of the new model – but the major news here is that the interior no longer looks like a mid-90’s Toyota. Gone are the hard plastics, baron dashboard and a features list that made the Amish look technologically advanced.
In their place you’ll find soft touch materials on the dash, doors and armrest; while the dashboard is now home to a 4.3 inch screen with GPS navigation, a full media centre, a rear facing camera and vehicle stats like a boost gauge display and a VDC screen showing traction control operation. There’s even the option of a fancy sound system.
But don’t think all the money in the kitty went to plush(er) interior finishes. The new Subaru WRX STi sits on a stiffer chassis with firmer springs and lightning fast steering. Even the legendary all-wheel-drive system got a work over to include active torque vectoring to the arsenal that already includes three driver modes, dynamics control and super sport ABS. The engineers also worked on giving the driver more feel, which is always welcome.
The masterpiece of an engine is now teamed with a specially reinforced 6-speed manual gearbox that was designed from scratch, just for the Subaru WRX STi. No details for an automatic have been released – and I hope it stays that way.
The all-new Subaru WRX STi will be retailed in South Africa in limited numbers, the launch date of which will be confirmed later in 2014, together with local model specifications and pricing. Whatever those happen to be, one thing is for sure, the STi will continue to offer supercar-like driving dynamics packaged in a practical, bulletproof four door saloon.
First published in Autodealer KZN